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Re: [Fwd: [Discuss] Debconf as an administration tool]

El Mon, Jul 12, 2004 at 10:55:20AM +1000, Zenaan Harkness va escriure:
> Comments appreciated.

  Well, a discussion I was trying to start has started in a lot of
  forums at the same time (and with different points of view).

  My post about it on debian-custom:

  First my comments:

> > From: Bruce Perens <bruce@perens.com>
> > To: discuss@lists.userlinux.com
> > Subject: [Discuss] Debconf as an administration tool
> > Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2004 15:50:16 -0700
> > 
> > As far as I understand this, not having investigated in great depth:
> > 
> > 1. Debconf can configure most anything that is set up by a Debian 
> > package to the point that it works. But some more detailed configuration 
> > is not done through it.

  No, it is not debconf who configures the package, the configuration is
  done by maintainer scripts, debconf is only used to ask questions to
  the user and store and recover it's answers.

> > 2. Debconf is database driven. The default database is a flat file, but 
> > others can be substituted.
> > 3. Debconf works with graphical and textual front-ends. Web front-ends 
> > may be possible.
> > 4. Debconf is internationalized.
> > 5. Debconf is currently set up to administer one system at a time. 
> > Currently it doesn't do clusters.

  Yes, it is not networked, but the debconf answers can be read and
  saved with debconf-get-selections and debconf-set-selections to move
  values between machines.
> > 6. Some Debian developers have resisted making Debconf into more of a 
> > generalized system configuration tool, for reasons unclear to me.

  Well, here we arrive at my point, I feel that debconf is OK as it is
  (maybe adding other optional database backends could be useful, but
  actual text files are OK for me), the problem for maintainers is how
  to deal with configuration variables stored there.

  Let me quote myself:

  > I believe that the main problem with debconf pre seeding is that we
  > don't have a standard way of using the questions' answers to modify
  > the configuration files, if we had one (based on cfengine of
  > config4gnu or whatever tool we agree on) the pre seeding used on
  > CDDs like DebianEdu would be a lot easier to add to packages (adding
  > low priority questions to them with sane defaults for the standard
  > Debian distribution).

  So, what I feel we need is a tool to apply changes to configuration
  files in an easy way.
  My original idea was to have a file inside the package with a list of
  rules to modify each pair variable/config file which don't interfere
  with hand made changes; we need a way of knowing if the file is under
  our control or not and if the user wants us to apply changes always or
  only when files are under our control (leaving the user modified files

  If we find the tool that uses this rule files we can integrate
  everything into debhelper and be able to migrate packages easily.

  The main idea behind this was to have an easy way to *customize* some
  packages for Custom Distributions, but it can be extended to be a
  (limited) configuration system.

  So, what do you think?

Sergio Talens-Oliag <sto@debian.org>   <http://people.debian.org/~sto/>
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